Supporting an Informed Citizenry with State Legislative Research Strategies and Tools

Wednesday, 2/15/2023
  • 1:00 PM-2:00 PM (Eastern)
  • 12:00 PM-1:00 PM (Central)
  • 11:00 AM-12:00 PM (Mountain)
  • 10:00 AM-11:00 AM (Pacific)

While most attention is focused on the actions (or lack therof) of the U.S. Congress, the nation's state legislatures are increasingly deciding the issues that affect citizens most directly, including voting rights, access to health care, and education. If "a democracy presupposes an informed citizenry" (as stated by the ALA's Core Values of Librarianship), librarians can and must support citizens in finding and evaluating legislation, so that they have the opportunity to advocate for and against these critical bills.

State legislative bodies vary greatly, ranging from full-time professional legislatures to part-time institutions with limited staff, and their websites reflect these differences. This session focuses on researching state legislation, including navigating state websites that are not necessarily designed with the average citizen in mind. It will highlight alternative sources of state legislative information and strategies for finding additional information and much-needed context, background, and rationales for bills.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this webinar, the participant will be able to:

  • Recognize the increasing importance of state legislative actions on their daily lives
  • Identify features on legislative websites that facilitate research by casual users, including plain-English summaries, keyword searches, and subject lists.

In the absence of these features, participants will learn about alternative search strategies, including identifying key stakeholders, searching on legislation aggregator websites, and utilizing national and state-level policy organizations to find additional information, context, and background.

Who Should Attend

This webinar is appropriate for public, academic, and special librarians, as well as students.


Jennifer Horne, is the Business, Economics, and Government Information Librarian at the University of Kentucky. In this role, she supports the schools of business, public policy and administration, and diplomacy. She also serves at the library's forward-facing contact for government information. Prior to joining UK, she spent more than twenty years in public policy research and legislative affairs for organizations that represent state and local officials, including the Council of State Governments, the National Conference of State Legislatures, and the International Association Chiefs of Police. 



Individual registration rates are as follows:

  • RUSA members: $46.61
  • ALA members: $71.10
  • ALA student members: $37.12
  • Non-members: $79.00

How to Register


Tech Requirements

This webinar will be offered using Zoom. Speakers or a headset for listening to the presentation are required. Closed captioning is available in the Zoom platform. You may interact with the presenter and ask questions through text-based chat. The webinar will be recorded and the link to the recording shared with registrants shortly after the live event. 

For questions or additional information, pleas contact Ninah Moore at


Questions about your registration should be directed to

Technical questions about the webinar should be directed to Ninah Moore, RUSA Program Officer-Continuing Education, at

Thank you and we look forward to your participation!